Lincoln Valley, North Dakota is in Sheridan County, about 8 miles NE of McClusky. Lincoln Valley was a primarily German/Russian settlement when it was founded in 1900 by George and Conrad C. Reiswig as Lincoln. In 1912 the name was changed to Lincoln Valley. There were hopes that the railroad would come through Lincoln Valley and spur a boom, but the tracks never came and Lincoln Valley slowly withered.
We first visited Lincoln Valley in 2004 and took these photos. Before we even made it into town, we ran into an intriguing home on the northeast edge of town. It was in the middle of a field with no driveway or outbuildings… just a lonely home, all alone and decaying.
The home is the former home of the Opp family, who according to a site visitor, just packed up and left one day, leaving most of their possessions behind. For many years, this place was (and continues to be) an icon of our website and our passion. So with sadness we say, when we returned in 2010 we found this house was no longer standing. It was razed due to safety concerns in 2009.
More views of the Opp house
Above: We drove into Lincoln Valley and we were struck by the appearance of the former Bar and Ice Cream Parlor and the town’s former gas station crumbling in the overgrowth. I said “Wow, look at this place,” as we shut off the car and got out, and we were greeted with the sound of crickets and prairie grasses swishing in the wind.
The building pictured above is the former bar and ice cream parlor for Lincoln Valley. Note the gas pumps of the town’s gas station next door. A huge thank you to Dale Hinsverk of Wahpeton for sending us a newspaper clipping from The Minot Daily News, August 22nd, 1970. The clipping is what allowed us to do these “Then and Now” animations.
Above: One block to the west of the former bar, there was a church. Only the open basement remains today.
Above: the home Terry affectionately dubbed the Hobbit House, because it looks like something out of the Lord of the Rings.
Joe Leintz was the final resident of Lincoln Valley. He left in 1972.
Lincoln Valley should be considered a dangerous town to explore. There are open basements and wells everywhere, and very tall grass which makes it easy to tumble right into one. Above: only the rear shed remains from a structure that once stood here. Below: a tree grows out of what was once a basement.
Photos by Troy Larson and Terry Hinnenkamp, copyright © 2017 Sonic Tremor Media
Troy Larson is an author, photographer, gentleman adventurer (debatable) from Fargo, North Dakota, and co-founder of Ghosts of North Dakota. @NorthDakotaTroy